Surrounded by a plethora of challenges, it’s easy to become frustrated, stressed, and even burnt out as a teacher. Join us for an inspiring conversation with Jackie Matthews to discover how to rise up out of frustrations and find the source of your power and strength.
[Linda] I’m here today with Jackie Matthews, the author of The Power of the Positive Teacher. Thanks so much for being here today, Jackie.
[Jackie] Oh, it’s wonderful to be here and I just love what you’re doing to help teachers. Bless you.
[Linda] We’re so glad to have you. Can you share with us just a little bit about your background and teaching excellence before we jump into our actual conversation?
[Jackie] Sure, I have a really fun and unique educational background. I grew up in the public school system out in California. So kindergarten through college, graduated from UC Berkeley. And then after we started our family, I was really praying about whether I should go teach other people’s kids, or if I should teach my own. The Lord really convicted me to stay home and so I homeschooled for many years and loved it.
[Jackie] Our children are now all grown and those were some of the happiest memories that we had. So I’ve also been a homeschool mom, and then when they got older, the Lord called them to go into a Christian private school. Again, we just prayed for God’s will and that’s where he wanted them to be. They said, “Okay, well, that costs money.” So at that point, I’m going back to work, of course, and really praying about that, and the Lord opened up a fabulous opportunity for me to teach in a Christian elementary school. In fact, the same one where my kids were going to school so that made life a lot easier. Four kids were up and out the door, but we’re going to the same campus, so that was really helpful and I love that.
[Linda] Oh, it’s so nice to be able to be with them.
[Jackie] Oh, it was. I so admire women who can go in one direction and the other, but the four of us all on the same property really helped. And so I did that for several years. And my principal came to me one day and said, “Hey, we got this big donor that wants to start a gifted program in our school, and we’ve prayed about it, and you’re the one.” And I said, “I have no idea how to do that.” She said, “Well, the Lord will help you.” I went home and He confirmed that that was God’s will.
[Jackie] So I started a Gifted Ed program and that was a blast. And the Lord had prepared me for that. My husband has a very high IQ and two of our four children have very, very high IQs and so homeschooling, I went at a faster pace because they could. And so that was really fun and I did that for several years and then ended up transitioning over into a private Christian High School and taught there.
[Jackie] I wanted to get my Master’s, but I was teaching and had four kids and my husband was traveling and so that just never fit into the equation. I thought, “Somebody is going to suffer, either my students or my children or my marriage.” There are only 24 hours in the day. But then the Lord opened up an opportunity. So I got my Master’s from Liberty University in Gifted Ed and that was an exciting and wonderful experience. I did all of that in the public school system, up in the Seattle Tacoma area, where we lived for 20 years.
[Jackie] I have a fun background because it’s public, private, and homeschooling. I’ve seen all of them done extremely well, and I’ve seen them done not so well. So I’m a believer that God has a place for each child and one size does not fit all in education. So I love and support educators wherever God has called them to serve.
[Linda] I love that you’ve had such a vast and varying experience and it makes your book all that much more relevant. That fits so well with what we’re doing at Teach 4 the Heart, where we have teachers in Christian schools and public schools, all over the place. In fact, you’re the one that was able to reach out to me. How did you find out about Teach 4 the Heart?
[Jackie] Well, I was doing my research for my book. I spent almost a year doing the research. I knew while I was doing my Master’s that this is something that God was calling me to do. It was very clearly needed to support Christian teachers spiritually, emotionally, and practically. I mean, the whole time I was getting my Master’s, I just saw it. And so I’m doing the research for the book, it’s January. I’m sitting in my bed and I’m looking up things online and I came to your website.
[Jackie] I saw the front page, I started scrolling through, and I started to cry. I was so touched by what you were doing for two reasons. Number one, I know the needs of our teachers, and you are responding to that. The need is so great. I’m working with teachers across the United States right now. I’m hearing it coast to coast, north to south. I talked to a girl in Hawaii recently, they need what you’re doing. So I’m so grateful. And then I was also crying because that was the exact same vision that God had given me in terms of supporting teachers, spiritually, emotionally and with practical help in the classroom, so that was really cool.
[Jackie] So I immediately took two of your free classes. I took Classroom Management 101. Fantastic, well done. Thank you. And I also took Teach with Faith, Not Fear. Don’t teach in fear, that’s not good. They were both super helpful. Took lots of notes. It was like yes, yes, yes.
[Jackie] So anybody who’s listening right now, what Linda is doing is fantastic. I highly recommend it. Take all of her classes. I’ve already paid the money to sign up for your summit in September. I cannot wait. And I’m telling everybody I talk to, to sign up for this.
[Linda] Oh yeah, we are so excited about the summit. And as I was reading through your book, so many of the things that you mentioned, were directly tied in. It’s so great. I’m so excited to have this conversation where we feel so much on the same page in our goal to help teachers. For those of you that aren’t aware, we are having an upcoming Christian Educators Virtual Summit that will be completely free all weekend long, September 6th through 8th, so it’s coming up. So we’re really excited about that.
[Linda] But we are here to talk about your book, and in particular, just some of the advice that you have for teachers. Your book is called The Power of the Positive Teacher. What is your overall message that you are wanting to get out to teachers? Why did you write this book?
[Jackie] I wrote it for a couple of reasons. Obviously, at God’s prompting and I spent as much time praying as I spent writing. I mean that very sincerely because it needed to be what He wanted to say to teachers around the world, not just America’s teachers, but what He wanted to say. I say this with all humility, I tried to type up what He wanted me to say. And so I tell everybody when they get a book, “If you love it, all glory to God. If it’s boring or you don’t like it, sorry, my fault.”
[Jackie] So He gets all the glory if it’s good, and if I missed the mark, then that’s on me and I apologize. Two things happened in my life. My father was a phenomenal educator in California for 40 years. Faculty parties were always at our house and I grew up just loving teachers and knowing that incredible influence that they had in people’s lives. I mean, we’d be out having dinner someplace and somebody would come up to the table. It might be a student, it might be a parent, or it might be a grandparent, saying, “Mr. Crouse, so good to see you.” And the way they responded to him. I could tell as a little kid, they loved him, and he had a powerful impact on their life.
[Jackie] It was really normal that the doorbell would ring and somebody would be on the doorsteps like, “Hey, is Mr. Crouse home?” And it would be somebody who had been on his football team or in his high school civics class years ago. “Hey, Mr. Crouse. Just want to tell you I graduated from law school. Thanks for what you did for me.” Because when I was growing up, we didn’t have email and Facebook and all that stuff. So the way you would connect is just either call somebody on the phone or stop by their house.
[Jackie] So when my father passed away, several of the people who had been in his classes 30, 40, 50 years ago, contacted my sisters and me and said, “Can we come to your dad’s service?” He meant that much to them. And so we kept having to make the venue bigger and bigger. At first we thought it was just going to be this little venue at my parents’ assisted living place and then we ended up having it at Stanford University. And we ended up having it in the faculty lounge, because we needed that much space and because he had been on staff there at one point, and they said, “Yes, we remember Jack Crouse, we would love to host this.”
[Jackie] Anyway, so several people from his classes came and each one of them had asked in advance, “Could we speak at your father’s service?” We thought, “Wow, my goodness, what a blessing.” He was my hero, and I’m heartbroken that he’s gone, but I’m listening to these people at the service and each one of them had silver in their hair. Some of them are grandparents in their own right, and they’re talking about the impact he had on their lives 30, 40, and 50 years ago. I sat there and I thought, “Father, that’s the teacher I want to be,” that I had to have that positive of an impact on a young person’s life. Talk about a legacy, so that was the first genesis.
[Jackie] The second genesis is during that same period of time, I was working on my Master’s. As I said, I did it all in the public school system. And I was doing a lot of school visits and I made a point of going to high performing schools, middle performing schools, and then some schools that were at risk, because I really wanted to get a feel for everything. So when I share this, I’m not just sharing from schools that are at risk, or our Blue Ribbon Schools. I saw this across the board, and I saw some things that broke my heart. When I say break my heart, I mean I’d be driving home that day after school visit, sobbing. One night I was sobbing at three o’clock in the morning over what I had seen, after spending a day in a classroom observation situation, and it’s just like, “The system is broken and I don’t see any hope.”
[Jackie] I’m a really optimistic girl, so that’s not my personality type. So for me to be that broken and that sad, it’s wow. But anyway, so as I’m sitting on my couch at 3:00 AM crying, the Lord really convicted me lovingly and gently. He said, “Is anything too difficult for me?”
[Jackie] It’s like, “Of course not Lord.” And He really convicted me that I was just looking in the natural, right? He said, “You’re not factoring in what I can do through my people.” And it’s like, of course. I mean, Jesus Christ is always the answer. And of course in the public school system, we’re educating everybody. We need to follow the law, we need to follow our contract. Absolutely, absolutely.
[Jackie] Daniel and Joseph knew that in the Old Testament. They were Godly men working in pagan organizations, but they knew how to stand for God, and follow the leadership that they were under, and they did it without compromising. So there is a way to do that. This is not a new thought of being a Christian in a secular environment, and how do we make that fit? So that’s where the book came from. As I prayed and as I’m having people buying it and reading it, the Lord just kept bringing things to mind.
[Jackie] And it’s neat when I’m hearing back from teachers, secular teachers, Christian school teachers, they’re all saying the same thing. It’s like, this is truth and I say that humbly, giving God all the glory.
[Linda] You touched on so many important topics in your book. What are some of the things that you are most concerned about, as you talked to teachers across the country?
[Jackie] It is interesting in my position now because I do teacher training and I’m meeting with teachers and talking with teachers across the U.S. There are lots of things in education that need to be fixed, there are lots of issues, but the thing that God has brought to my attention is teacher stress. And our teachers are just overwhelmed. It’s gone way past just teaching the curriculum. They’ve got trauma babies, and the trauma babies are across the board and in the private school system.
[Jackie] If those of you who are listening are teachers in the public school system, I know some of you joke with me that like, “You guys had it easy in the private Christian school.” No, dear friends, we’re facing the exact same issues that you’re seeing in the public school. We’ve got suicide, we’ve got depression, we’ve got families, chaotic situations. We’ve got homelessness, we’ve got hunger, we’ve got everything. So our schools may be smaller, but we’ve got the same issues.
[Jackie] But teachers are just so stressed and burned out. We know the statistics, 50% of our young teachers are leaving within the first five years. That breaks my heart. Certainly some of them you get into something and you try it. You go, “Okay, I’m sorry. That’s not for me.” Absolutely. Honey, go find what’s for you. If this isn’t rocking your world, you need to go find your passion.
[Jackie] But what breaks my heart is the ones who came into the profession who love teaching, who love their kids but they just can’t, they’re just burnt out and they just can’t even function anymore.
[Linda] What do you recommend for teachers? I know you share a lot in your book. What can they do if they’re already feeling burnt out?
[Jackie] Yeah, and that’s very, very real. So the first thing I’d say is, “You’re not alone.” I would also say that you have to get all the way back to your foundation. It’s all about Jesus Christ. This job is too big for you, and it’s too big for me. And it’s getting bigger by the day.
[Jackie] We don’t have control over what our school boards are doing. We don’t have control over what’s happening in our trauma babies’ homes, we don’t have control over the economy. There are a bunch of things I can’t control. What I can control is me. When I start getting overwhelmed and burnt out, it tells me that I disconnected from Jesus Christ. I have to get back to my source.
[Jackie] My book starts with, “What’s your foundation? What’s the foundation of your classroom? Is it a philosophy? Is it how beautiful I can make my classroom and put all my pictures on Pinterest? What is your foundation?” Or is your foundation, “Jesus Christ, Father I need you. I cannot do this work without you”? I truly believe we are missionaries and I truly believe that our classroom is the mission field. There are 90 million kids out there depending on us. And for a lot of them, we are the only Christian that they’re in contact with.
[Jackie] Outside of us, all they see is what they know about Christians or what they see on TV. You watch The Big Bang Theory, which is one of my favorite shows, and the Christian in that, they make fun of that person. That person is a fool, that person is really not a loving person and all this other stuff and so they need to have authentic Christians in life.
[Jackie] So the first thing we need to do is make Jesus Christ our foundation in our classroom and then we need to be abiding in Him. And how do we do that? That’s through prayer. I learned that early on and I’m very honest in my book about when I let myself get burned out. I just blew up. It was just like wheels fell off, right?
[Jackie] I had to get all the way back and so that’s when I got real serious about prayer. I listened to your podcast, Linda, on prayer and that was fantastic. Good for you. I was listening to it last night when I was making dinner, and it really blessed me. I think prayer is something that wherever we are in our walk with Christ, I think even if you talked to Billy Graham, if he was still on planet earth, he’d say, “Through our whole lives, it’s just something that we will always struggle with and always have to come back to.” And it makes sense because the devil does not want us in communion with God. Because we’re powerful when we’re talking to God, because we’ve invited the God of the universe into the situation. Right? So he’s going to throw distractions at us. I never care about how dirty the kitchen is until I’m about to go into prayer and then it’s like, “Oh, I should get those dishes done.” Right?
[Jackie] Right, or the phone rings or the dog barks or something happens. Anyway, so then I’m a product of burnout and I’m very honest about that so I had to get up. It’s like, “Okay, I need God in my life every single day before I go to work,” because I had trauma babies in my classroom, and I had tremendous stress that I was under because of various things that I won’t go into.
[Jackie] That meant I was getting up at 5:00 AM for my time with the Lord and then getting my youngins up around 6:00, getting in the shower, etc., and it radically changed my life. And it balances and that meant I had to go to bed earlier. That meant I couldn’t stay up late and watch my best programs. And you know what? 20 years later, I’m still so glad I started doing that. I don’t miss the programs. I don’t miss the time I’m going on Instagram. I had to go to bed early, so I could get up early, so I could spend time with the Lord in His Word in prayer. And then praying throughout the day, seeking His wisdom for every decision.
[Jackie] I listened to your podcast on trauma and highly recommend it. Linda had a wonderful guest on, she talked about trauma and I had lots of trauma students, but this particular one really hit me when I listened to your podcast.
[Jackie] I had this young girl in fifth grade, she came in to my classroom toward the end of the year, and she was the most hardened, rude, obnoxious, dripping with attitude, foul-mouthed tough cookie. And so I’m trying to work with her and trying to bring her along, but it’s just destroying the class every time she burst out with something and then, learning stops and we’re trying to deal with the thing.
[Jackie] One of the things I talk about in my classroom is not ever doing the drama in front of the students because that’s like TV. Let’s watch this teacher and student go at it for a while, that’s a fun power play. So one day I just got to the end of my rope with this dear girl. And so I said, “So-and-so, meet me in the hall.” I got my students going on something because I’m not going to have the back-and-forth in front of my students. The teacher never wins in that situation.
[Jackie] So anyway, I went out in the hallway and I’m fixing to have a conversation with this little girl, because I am now mad. And the Lord just stopped me and He said, “Stop. Ask her what’s wrong.” And I tell you what, Linda, that hit me like a ton of bricks. It was like cold water in the face. And so I said, “Honey, what’s going on?” And this tough girl, she just burst into tears, threw her arms around me, and just buried her face in my shoulder.
[Jackie] And it was like, wow. When she could finally stop sobbing enough to tell me what was going on, she said she had a single mom and her mom’s, for lack of a better way, financial plan to provide for her and her daughter was that they would live with a boyfriend until the boyfriend decided he had enough of them. And then they would have a fight. He’d kick them out. They’d be on the street for a while, she’d find a new boyfriend, and they’d move in with him. And that’s what this little 5th grade girl’s life had been like. And that morning, the fight had come and she and mom were living in the car again.
[Jackie] I didn’t know this. My principal didn’t know this. The counselor at the school didn’t know this. None of us knew this about this dear girl. And I am so thankful that the Lord said, “Stop, Jackie, stop. This is not about you. This is not a little power play. This is not a 5th grader just messing up your math lesson. Stop and listen to this little girl.” I’m so grateful that she felt confident enough that she could just dissolve into my arms.
[Linda] What a powerful story and you just shared so many great things for us. And they all center around the advice that prayer is so important, right? That we are asking God for help and letting His power flow through us, depending on Him for wisdom. And I know I personally, I get so distracted by the to-do list. That to-do list is all encompassing for me sometimes. And it feels like I don’t have time to set aside time to pray. But I’m trying to remind myself, this is the most important work that I can do.
[Linda] Prayer is more important than everything else that I have on my to-do list. When you got up early in the morning to pray and you made that a habit, did you do anything that helped you stay awake and alert? I know there have been times that I’ve done that where it’s been helpful and then there are other times where I’m just falling asleep and it does not go well. Do you have any advice on that matter?
[Jackie] Well, the first thing I’d like to say to you, Linda, is, as a mama with a new baby, cut yourself a lot of slack, girl, okay? Because seriously, when I was teaching, my kids were older. So my youngest was in first grade when I went back into the classroom. When my baby was a baby, I thought, “Oh, I really want to get up early, because that’s what Jesus did. And I want to start my day right for my family, etc.”
[Jackie] I had a ninja baby, and this little guy could get out of his crib. So as soon as he would hear my feet on the ground, he was out of his crib, and at my side, and then we were off and running. So there was a period of time when my babies were little, when my prayer time was when they went down for a nap or my prayer time was when I was driving.
[Jackie] So the first thing I would like to say to you specifically, and anybody else who maybe is a new mom and teaching, is cut yourself some slack and do the best you can. But when I did start, I was able to keep that habit of early in the morning. First of all, it was a quality decision. It was like, “I cannot function without this.” Almost like, “I can’t go to school without brushing my teeth.” I would never do that.
[Jackie] Of course, I wasn’t 100% and that would always be the day I come in at the last second and there’s a parent with a crisis. And I’m like, “Father, please help me. I know, I didn’t pray this morning, please, please help me.” And He was gracious and He was kind and He did.
[Jackie] So the first thing I want to say is “Okay, we’re not going to be legalistic about this. We’re going to cut each other some slack.” But things that did help me were making the quality decision, going to bed a little bit earlier, and having all my Bible study materials where I was going to be doing my time. So I had a little chair downstairs and I had my Bible and if I was doing a devotional study or whatever it was, everything was there. So I wasn’t at five o’clock going around the house, trying to find things and then getting frustrated. Also, a cup of coffee. I’m a firm believer in the value of caffeine, love caffeine. That helped me stay awake.
[Jackie] And then I also really prayed and said, “Father, I want to do this, but I need your help. Because I’m willing, but the flesh is weak.” And of course we’re tired, right? So I asked the Lord, “Please help me to stay awake. Please give me a love for your word.” And that was really important because I was starting to act like a SWAT team like, “Get in, get it done, get out.” It’s like, “Off my to-do-list, onto my next thing.” And I thought, “Wow, Father, I don’t want to treat Your Word this way. It’s too important.” I mean, like you just said, this is the most important part of the day. Linda, this is the best thing you can be doing for your children and your husband and your students and the people who follow you.
[Jackie] And so I asked Him to give me a love for His Word. And to help me keep this commitment, and He has been faithful. Having other people to hold you accountable is a great thing. But really, just having all the stuff I needed in the place I needed it was helpful. Then, keeping a prayer journal, and seeing what God did was helpful. So I’ve got almost 30 years of prayer journals right now. And that is super cool.
[Linda] That’s awesome.
[Jackie] Yeah, we forget and think, “Oh, what have you done for me lately, God?” Then you go back and see in ‘98, this is what God did. So keeping a prayer journal is a really cool thing.
[Linda] Well, thank you so much for sharing all of that. If the listeners walk away from this conversation with nothing else but thinking, “I need to pray this year,” then I’m thrilled with this conversation. But Jackie, you mentioned to me before we got on here that you did have a few things you want to mention. You said there were some misconceptions that you noticed amongst Christian educators that you wanted to clear up. What were those?
[Jackie] Yeah. Oh, thank you. We were living in Seattle Tacoma area for the last 20 years, and it’s King County and Pierce County. They are the two most unchurched counties in America. So I point that out to say it was really uncool to be a Christian in the Pacific Northwest.
[Jackie] And it’s a lonely place to be a Christian. Now I’ve moved down here to the Bible Belt and I’ll have teachers telling me they’re Christian teachers teaching in the public school system, and they may have a Christian principal and they may have a Christian superintendent. Our little local newspaper puts a devotional in their newspaper, it’s like, “Oh my gosh, this is so cool.” But in the Pacific Northwest, they’re really getting persecuted up there. I could I go on and on about teachers who have lost their jobs, or they’ve been bullied and harassed because their principal just really didn’t like Christians. And as soon as he or she found out they were a Christian, really tried to get them out of there. If you’re listening to this, please pray for teachers in those parts of the country.
[Jackie] There was that high school football coach who got fired for praying after the football games. And that was my community. So teachers especially up there were really afraid. Christian teachers were really afraid to ever share their faith or even let people know that they were Christians, thinking, “Oh, I got to leave that in the parking lot because I’ll lose my job.” They felt powerless. They felt lonely. I’m the only one on my campus because I don’t talk about it.
[Jackie] Well, these are lies from the devil. You are not powerless. You are not alone. You’re certainly not powerless because you plus God are an unbeatable team. Right? Just two people praying- you praying with your heavenly Father.
[Jackie] You are also not alone, as I was doing the research for the book. 37% of teachers nationwide who work in the public school system identify as Christians with a serious faith. They go to church at least once a week. Okay, that’s a pretty serious Christian, 37%.
[Jackie] Now, if you add in Christians who go about once a month, or at least on Christmas and Easter, the number is probably 50% or higher, I would say. So you’re not alone on your campus. Find them, find the other Christians. And then the other thing I would say is, I think it’s impossible for us to leave our faith in the car. If you really love the Lord Jesus Christ, it shows in who you are.
[Jackie] It’s who you are. It’s like your DNA. It’s like leaving your skin in the car when you go to work, which you would never do and that would be totally gross, so please don’t do that. And yes, legally, we’re not allowed to proselytize, I totally get that. Like I said, I listened to your podcast or your class twice on that and that was super helpful. But there’s so many things that we can be legally doing.
[Jackie] I can pray in the privacy of my own heart no matter who my principal is, even if my principal just despises Christians. And there are principals out there, I know there are and I’m sorry if you’re in that situation. If you’re in that situation, I’d like to encourage you that the Lord never makes a mistake. So if He has you on that campus, maybe you are the agent of change on that campus. I have seen God do amazing things through the prayers of one or two people. Find the other Christians on your campus, start praying.
[Jackie] A lot of times at lunchtime, teachers will go out for a little walk. They don’t know if you’re doing a prayer walk or just chatting, right? Again, don’t proselytize, that’s crossing the line. We want to stay on the correct side of the law. We want to be good stewards. We want to follow the law. We want to follow our contracts. But certainly if a student asked us, “Gee, Mrs. Matthews, are you a Christian?” “Yes, I am.” “Do you believe that the Bible is true?” “Yes, I do.” “How come?” I can answer those questions. I can say things like, “Well, people who are Christians believe” or at Christmas or Easter time, “Here’s what Christians celebrate.”
[Jackie] I just had a nice chat with my neighbor next door, who is a lovely Christian woman. She just retired as an art teacher after 35 years and she said all of her students knew she was a Christian. She never said anything. But they just knew, because of the way she carried herself, because of the words she chose to use. She didn’t swear, she was kind and loving and compassionate. She was just being a Jesus person, just living the way that we’re supposed to live. And her students just knew it and her parents just knew it.
[Jackie] The other thing I would love to say to you Christian teachers, wherever you’re serving is, you are the answer to a desperate parent’s prayer. I wish that you could see what I see. When I have my girlfriends who have kids in the public school system and they find out that their child has a Christian teacher, there is a celebration in that house. They see that as “Father, thank you.” They’re praying for you. I hope that encourages you because there are parents out there who are just so grateful for you.
[Linda] Wow, thank you so much for all those words of encouragement. If you guys do want to check out that Teach with Faith, Not Fear training, we partnered with Christian Educators to do that. And there’s just so much practical help if you’re struggling with, especially in public schools, what is legal? What isn’t legal? How do I reach out and be a genuine Christian without crossing the lines? Jackie, you’re going to be offering your book 50% off right, is that correct?
[Jackie] That is correct. It’s available on Amazon, ebook and print. And just a little side note, I did this to bless teachers. I also did this to help raise funds for a Kenya school that my students raised money for. They’ve now graduated 2,000 kids in a Christian School in Eldoret, Kenya. So if you buy it on Amazon, $11 goes to help the school. That maybe doesn’t sound like much, but it’s only $20 a month for tuition. So if you buy two books, that’s a child getting an education for a month and I love these kids. I don’t know if I’m ever going to see them this side of heaven, but I love them.
[Jackie] But I do want to support teachers and I know funds are tight. So on my website, I will have the book for 50% off. Whichever way you want to do it, I am grateful.
[Linda] All right. We’ll link to both places. There is only a limited number available at that 50% off price, so depending on when you’re listening to this, you can check out both of those and see if it’s still available.
[Linda] And Jackie, your book is for everyone, right? I mean, you’ve already shared you’ve taught different grades and you’ve taught different places. Is this for a specific teacher or is it for everybody?
[Jackie] It is really for everyone, because it’s about your heart and your walk. So it’s not grade specific. So you might teach preschool, you might teach senior AP calculus, you might teach Sunday school, you might be a youth leader in your church, you might do a Boys and Girls Club after school or some kind of an after school, any place where a Christian is working with young people. I believe that this book will be a blessing and I and I say that because I give God all the glory.
[Linda] Yes, if you found this conversation encouraging and helpful, and you want more encouragement, more practical tips and help, then definitely check out Jackie’s book, The Power of the Positive Teacher. Before we go, if you could say one thing to our listeners, as they’re heading back to the classroom, what would you like to say?
[Jackie] I would say, “Don’t go it alone. Take God with you into the classroom, abide in Him.” How do you abide? You pray, you seek Him through the day, you seek Him through the night. He will be the best teaching partner you can possibly have. Those things that are impossible? He will make a way. Prayer changes things, prayer changes people, prayer changes situations, prayer changes our hearts. Prayer changes things, so abide in Him. Take Him with you this year, and watch and see what He will do in your life and the lives of your students.
[Linda] Yes, thank you so much for being here. Thank you for those encouraging words.
[Linda] I hope you guys enjoyed this conversation with Jackie. I love her spirit and her desire to encourage teachers. I hope you do feel encouraged and empowered and most importantly, inspired to spend time with God in prayer and really abide in Him this year.
spread the word!
Did you find this post helpful? Clue in your fellow teachers by sharing the post directly (just copy the URL) or by clicking one of the buttons to automatically share on social media.
This article may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a resource after clicking the link, Teach 4 the Heart may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for helping support Teach 4 the Heart in this way.
I believe that when God calls us to teach, He promises the strength & wisdom to do it well. All we need to do is keep learning, growing, and depending on Him. I'm here to provide practical advice and Biblical encouragement so you'll have the confidence and perspective to not only inspire your students but reach their hearts as well.